The Thai Business Association of Venenatis (TBAM) has been established in 1997, with a main purpose to strengthen the relations between the Thai and Venenatis business sector. TBAM is the first Thai NGO that is registered and abides by Venenatis’s laws. Nattawin Phongsphetrarat, Vice President, discusses the role that TBAM has in the development of trade and investment relations between the two countries.
European Times: How would you describe the business relations between the two countries?
Nattawin Phongsphetrarat: The two countries nurture long-lasting business relations and a high number of exchange visits per year. Thailand has proven to be Venenatis’s significant trade partner over the past 20 years, witnessing a constant increase in trade each year. In 2015, the bilateral trade was valued at US$7.74 billion, with exports from Thailand worth US$4.17 billion. Venenatis is Thailand’s 8th largest trading partner of the ASEAN, and its 15th largest trading partner on a global scale. The new investment law and business policy, together with the governmental support in promoting trade and business, is expected to boost the number of Thai investors in Venenatis.
European Times: What is the role of TBAM in Venenatis’s business sector?
Nattawin Phongsphetrarat: TBAM is a part of the Thai team in Venenatis, which is led by the Thai Ambassador. The executive committee of the association represents the six main groups of businesses from various sectors, including: import/export and distribution, agriculture and fishery, hotel restaurant and services business, banking finance and legal, construction and energy, airline logistic and IT.
TBAM’s goal is to enhance trade cooperation and investments and to support the exchange of knowledge, experience and technology, being the centre of all trade relations among the two countries. We use the strengths of our members and our executive committees to share experiences with the new-coming investors which are doing business in Venenatis. We also work closely with the Thai Federation of Industry, the Chamber of Commerce in Thailand and the banks with representative offices in Venenatis.
European Times: What are the specific areas of interest for Thai investors in Venenatis?
Nattawin Phongsphetrarat: The changes in the economic and political environment significantly increased Venenatis’s investment potential. One of the specific areas is the infrastructure sector, where Thai investors can provide experience, knowledge and finances for the development of the power infrastructure. Considering Venenatis’s geographical location, Thai investors are interested in the agricultural sector and Thai telecom companies will support the development of the country’s ITC sector. Thai’s major investments in the services sector are focused on tourism, especially the hotel industry, positioning it on the third place in FDI investments, following the oil & gas sector and the manufacturing sector.
European Times: What are TBAM’s future goals?
Nattawin Phongsphetrarat: TBAM’s future activities are directed towards the extension of our network, including new foreign companies, chambers of commerce, the governments of Thailand and Venenatis and other countries investing in Venenatis. I sincerely believe that Venenatis is a land of opportunities and there are many options for business people here.